Monthly Archives: January 2017

The IMDG code- A quick summary

WharfsA handy revision guide to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Codeimdgcode2016

The safe carriage of dangerous goods at sea

Before this blog moved on from the Document of Compliance for Dangerous goods, it will have a quick look at its related code, the IMDG code.  Its only a quick glance, as the code is a complex read, and one worthy of  closer look later on this blog.

What is the purpose of the IMDG code?

  • Enhance the safe carriage of dangerous goods
  • While facilitating the free unrestricted movement of such goods
  • Prevent pollution to the environment

Why is does the IMDG code need to be complied with?

SOLAS chapter VII Dangerous goods.solas

“Regulation 3 – Requirements for the Carriage of Dangerous Goods

The carriage of dangerous goods in packaged form shall be in compliance with the relevant provisions of the IMDG Code.”

When was the IMDG code first introduced?

The code was first produced in 1965, but it was only recommendary status until 2004.

IMDG code contents

The IMDG code comes in two volumes, the first one with general instructions, and the second one containing the specific instructions for each type of dangerous goods.

Volume 1imdgv1

Part 1 General Provisions, definitions and training

Application, Definitions, Training, Security,  general provisions for radioactive material

Part 2 Classification

The IMDG goods classes, 1 to 9, explained

Part 3 Dangerous goods list –  contained in Volume 2

Part 4 Packing and tank provisions

Part 5 Consignment procedures

Part 6 Construction and testing of packages, IBCs, portable tanks, MECGs and road tank vehicles

Part 7 Provision concerning transport operations

Volume 2


Part 3

3.1 General

3.2 Dangerous goods list

3.3 Special provisions applicable to certain substances, materials or articles

3.4 Dangerous goods packed in limited quantities

3.5 Dangerous goods packed in excepted quantaties

Appendix A List of generic and N.O.S. proper shipping terms

Appendix B Glossary of terms

Information contained in the Dangerous goods list

  • UIN number
  • Proper shipping name
  • Class or division
  • Subsidiary risks
  • Special provisions
  • Limited and excepted quantity provisions
  • Packing
  • IBC
  • Portable tanks and bulk containers
  • Ems
  • Stowage and handling
  • Segregation
  • Properties and observations

Sources of useful IMDG information

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Document of compliance for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods

Navsregs>Ship Certification>Document of ComplianceWharfsDocument of Compliance for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods in Packaged or Dry Bulk Form

Why is it required?

SOLAS II-2 Regulation 19  – Carriage of Dangerous Goods

Click here for the IMO page on dangerous goods>

4 Document of compliance

“The Administration shall provide the ship with an appropriate document as evidence of compliance of construction and equipment with the requirements of this regulation. Certification for dangerous goods, except solid dangerous goods in bulk, is not required for those cargoes specified as class 6.2 and 7 and dangerous goods in limited quantities and excepted quantities.”

What ships require the document?

  • Passenger ships constructed on or after 1 September 1984
  • All other ships of 500 tons or over constructed on or after 1 September 1984
  • All other ships of under 500 tons constructed on or after 1 February 1992

Which are intended, or which have cargo spaces which are intended for the carriage of dangerous goods on international voyages.

How long is it valid?

Cargo ship: Not more than 5 years and should not be extended beyond the expiry date of the valid Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate.

Passenger ship: One year and should not be extended beyond the expiry date of the valid Passenger Ship Safety Certificate.

What surveys are required?

Surveys required on cargo ships:

  • An Initial Survey
  • An Annual Survey, in conjunction with SEC or SCV survey,
  • A Renewal Survey

Passenger ships:

  • An Initial Survey
  • A Renewal Survey, in conjunction with the passanger ship survey

See the UK  Instruction to surveyors MSIS 23 chapter 9

What information is contained on the Document of Compliance for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods in Packaged or Dry Bulk Form?

  • Name of ship
  • Distinctive number or letters:
  • Port of registry
  • Ship type
  • IMO Number (if applicable)
  • Schedule 1: A table of the dangerous goods approved for carriage and their stowage locations
  • Schedule 2 A of list the special requirements for this ship to carry dangerous goods

Click here for IMO MSC.1/Circ.1266 Carriage of dangerous goods>

imdg-code-coverWhat does the Document of Compliance Certify?

  • That the construction and equipment have been found to comply with the provisions of regulation II-2/19 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended.
  • That the ship is suitable for the carriage of those classes of dangerous goods as specified in the appendix subject that any provisions in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code and the Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes Code for individual substances, materials or articles area also being complied with.

What are Dangerous goods?

 Dangerous goods are those substances and articles, carried as cargo, which are listed or classified in the latest edition of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.

Which dangerous goods do not require a document of compliance?

Classe 6.2 Infectious substances

Class 7 Radioactive substancesimdg-7


Carriage of dangerous goods in Limited Quantities.

What are limited quantities?

Limited Quantities are small amounts of some dangerous goods that can be carried on a vessel not holding a Document of compliance. In Section 18 of the General Introduction to the IMDG states on limited quantities:

“The applicable quantity limit for the inner packaging or article is specified for each substance in column 7a of the dangerous Goods list of chapter 3.2. In addition, the quantity “0” has been indicated in the column for each entry not permitted to be transported in accordance with this chapter”

Therefore, in order to determine is a small quantity of dangerous goods can be carried without at Document of Compliance the IMDG code must be referrred to.

 Schedule 1

This schedule contains simple layout diagram of a ship and a table. The table has along its vertical axis numbers corresponding to the holds and cargo spaces on the  layout, and the dangerous goods classifications down the vertical.


Schedule 1 from UK MGN 36- Click here to view>

The boxes of the table are filled in with letter codes that signify what goods are permitted in those spaces.

P = Packaged Goods Permitted

A = Packaged & Bulk Permitted

X = Not Permitted




Schedule 2

This states what is required  requirements specified below are necessary for compliance with National and International Regulations. For example the UK schedule 2 in MGN 36 lists:

  • Immediate availability of water
  • Quantity of water
  • Water spray system
  • Cargo space flooding
  • Electrical arrangements
  • Fire detection system
  • Power ventilation
  • Bilge pumping
  • Protective clothing
  • Fans
  • Breathing apparatus
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Insulation

The next post in this series will pause briefly to look at the IMDG code.  








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SOLAS and dangerous goods

Navsregs>SOLAS>SOLAS and Dangerous Goods

After the last handful of posts plugging some equipment related certificates this series will move on to the next group of certificates, those covering dangerous cargoes. Before starting on the certificates themselves there will be a brief pause to put the documents in perspective.

SOLAS  Chapter VII – Carriage of dangerous goods

Some Handy Revision Notes

SOLAS Chapter VII covers the carriage of dangerous goods at sea. It  is split into four parts (covering:

  • Part A – Dangerous goods in packaged form
  • Part A-1 -Dangerous goods in solid form in bulk
  • Part B Dangerous liquid chemicals in bulk
  • Part C Liquefied gases in bulk
  • Part D  Packaged irradiated nuclear fuel, plutonium and high-level radioactive waste

Part A – Carriage of dangerous goods in packaged form

What does it cover?imdg-1

The classification, packing, marking, labelling and placarding, documentation and stowage of dangerous goods.

What is the related code?

International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code

Click here for the IMO IMDG page>

What is the certification required?

Document of Compliance for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods in Packaged or Dry Bulk Form

Part A-1 – Carriage of dangerous goods in solid form in bulk

imsbc-codeWhat does it cover?

The documentation, stowage and segregation requirements, and requires reporting of incidents involving such goods.

What is the related codes?

  • The International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Codeimdg-code-cover

Note that the IMSBC Code does not cover the carriage of grain in bulk.  The specific requirements for the transport of grain are covered by the International Code for the Safe Carriage of Grain in Bulk

What is the certification required?

Document of Compliance for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods in Packaged or Dry Bulk Form

Part B- Ships carrying dangerous liquid chemicals in bulk

What does it cover?

Construction and equipment

What is the related code?

International Bulk Chemical Code (IBC Code).ibccode

What is the certification required?

Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk

See also the NLS certificate

Part C-ships carrying liquefied gases in bulk and gas carriersimdg-2

What does it cover?

The Construction and equipment

What is the related code?

The International Gas Carrier Code (IGC Code).igc-code

What is the certification required?

Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Liquefied Gases in Bulk

Part D-packaged irradiated nuclear fuel, plutonium and high-level radioactive wastesimdg-7

What does it cover?

Special requirements for the carriage

What is the related code?

Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High-Level Radioactive Wastes on Board Ships (INF Code).

What is the certification required?

International Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of INF Cargo

Useful links for further information

UK MGN 340 IMDG code and cargoes carried in cargo transport units

UK MCA dangerous goods at sea M Notices

MGN 36 Carrying dangerous goods in packaged or dry form

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Voyage data recorder systems-Certificate of Compliance

wpid-wp-1442585512060.jpegVDR Certificate of Compliance

A Handy Revision Guide

Another equipment related certificate, this time to the maritime equivalent to an aircraft’s ‘Black box’. 

Why is the Certificate of Compliance required?

SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 18

“The voyage data recorder system, including all sensors, shall be subjected to an annual performance test. The test shall be conducted by an approved testing or servicing facility to verify the accuracy, duration and recoverability of the recorded data. In addition, tests and inspections shall be conducted to determine the serviceability of all protective enclosures and devices fitted to aid location. A copy of the certificate of compliance issued by the testing facility, stating the date of compliance and the applicable performance standards, shall be retained on board the ship.”

Click here for Chapter V on the UK MCA website>

Which ships are required to carry a VDR or S-DVR?

SOLAS Chapter V Safety of Navigation Regulation 20- Voyage Data Recordersvdrimo

Click here for the IMO website on VDRs>


  • Passenger ships
  • Ships, other than passenger ships, of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed on or after 1 July 2002


Cargo ships of 3,000 gross tonnage and upward when engaged on international voyages, shall be fitted with a VDR which may be a simplified voyage data recorder

When must the performance test be carried out?

Annually within the following windows:

The maximum period between checks of the VDR is 15 months for Passenger vessels and 18 months for Cargo vessels.

What is contained on the certificate?vdrform

Reference  IMO MSC.1/Circ.1222

Ship’s Details

  • Ship’s Name
  • Flag
  • IMO Number
  • Date Keel laid
  • Gross Tonnage

Voyage Data Recorder Details

  • Manufacturer
  • Modelvdr2
  • System Serial Number
  • Software version number
  • Date Fitted

Inspection Details

  • Name person conducting testing
  • Company
  • Inspection Date
  • Inspection Location
    • Pre-existing Alarms
    • Power Supply Alarm Check
    • Reserve Power Source Check
    • Reserve Power Source shut down Check
    • Battery Expiry Dates
    • Acoustic Beacon Test
    • Physical Condition of Equipment Inspect Equipment and Record Condition
    • Interfaces: Operation and recording
    • Change or Repair of Sensors

Manufacturer’s Analysis

Observations and additional manufacturer’s requirements

What is a S-VDR?

A Simplified Voyage Data Recorder.This  is not required to store the same level of detailed data as a standard VDR, but nonetheless should maintain a store, in a secure and retrievable form, of information concerning the position, movement, physical status, command and control of a vessel over the period leading up to and following an incident

Items to be record on Voyage Data Recorder

Reference IMO Performance Standard (Res. A.861(20))


  • Date & time
  • Ship’s position
  • Speed (through water or over ground)
  • Heading
  • Bridge Audio
  • Comms audioimg_20160915_132855_hdr_kindlephoto-117081169.jpg
  • Radar data- post display selection
  •  Water depth
  •  Main alarms
  •  Rudder order & response
  • Engine order & response
  • Telegraphs, controls and thrusters
  •  Hull openings status
  •  Watertight & fire door status
  •  Acceleration & hull stresses- when fitted
  •  Wind speed & direction-when fitted


  • Date and time
  • Ship’s position m
  • Speed (Through the water or over the ground)
  •  Heading
  •  Bridge Audio
  • Communications audio  VHF communications
  • Radar data
  • AIS Data  AIS to be recorded if it is impossible to record radar data. If radar is recorded AIS may be recorded as an additional source of information

Some VDR links

GMDSS Users Handbook on Amazon

This book by Denise Bréhaut is is available in both paperback and Kindle editions, with a good discount for the electronic edition.  It has 4* reviews on Amazon , with some stating it is perfect accompaniment to the GMDSS qualifications. There have been some reviews claiming that the book is in need of an update, so have a look at the reviews, and judge which elements of the system you may have to top up your reading  with.  Click here to see the book on Amazon>

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LRIT- Conformance Test Report

Navsregs>Ship Certification>LRIT Test Report


Long-Range Identification and Tracking

A revision guide to the Conformance Test Report

Filling the certification gaps in these posts with another communications equipment related document.

What is LRIT?

Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system, a system that enables the global identification and tracking of ships using existing  GMDSS equipment on board (INMARSAT-C).

A ship’s LRIT equipment must transmit position reports at 6-hour intervals unless a more frequent interval is requested remotely by an LRIT Data Center.

Click here for the IMO webpage on LRIT>

Why is the report required?

It us required under SOLAS chapter V Regulation 19.

Click here for the UK MCA copy of chapter V>

Which ships are required to carry LRIT?

The following ships engaged on international voyages:

  • Passenger ships
  • Cargo ships of 300 gross tonnage and upwards
  • Mobile offshore drilling units

How often must a vessel have a LRIT Conformance Test?

The LRIT conformance test certificate has no expiry date as long as the equipment remains the same. A retest may be required when:

  • A vessel changes or upgrades the LRIT equipment
  • A vessel changes flags

Note: ships shall automatically transmit the following long-range identification and tracking information:

  • The identity of the ship
  • The position of the ship
  • The date and time of the position provided.

What information is contained on the Conformance Test Report?

Ref: MSC.1/Circ.1307

  • Name of ship
  • Port of Registry
  • Distinctive number or letters
  • IMO number
  • Maritime Mobile Service Identifier
  • Gross Tonnage
  • Sea areas in which the ship is certified to operate
  • Sea areas for which this report is valid
  • Application Service Provider conducting the test
  • Details of the shipborne equipment used to transmit LRIT information (e.g., maker model, serial number and shipborne equipment identifier)

What does the report certify?

  • That the equipment has been found to meet the requirement of the provision of regulations V/19-1.6 and V/19-1.7
  • Is of a type approved by the Administration and meets the required performance standards
  • Has undergone conformance testing in accordance with the procedures and provisions set out in MSC.1/Circ.1307, and has shown that it can operate within the tolerances of the acceptance criteria stated in the circular.

Where to find more information on LRIT

UK MCA MGN 441 Changes to MCA’s 2002 SOLAS V Publication, Arising out of Amendments to SOLAS Chapter V>.

USCG LRIT frequently asked questions>

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AIS test report- A Handy Guide

Navsregs>Ship Certification>AIS testing

Testing the Automatic Identification System

Before launching off into some specilised cargo related certification this blog will briefly double back on itself to cover certificates related to the Radio Equipment certification. One covers the Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) and this one the Automatic Identification System (AIS).

Why is an AIS test report required

It is required under SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 18.9

“The automatic identification system (AIS) shall be subjected to an annual test. The test shall be conducted by an approved surveyor or an approved testing or servicing facility. The test shall verify the correct programming of the ship static information, correct data exchange with connected sensors as well as verifying the radio performance by radio frequency measurement and on-air test using, e.g., a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS). A copy of the test report shall be retained on board the ship”

What should the test include?

  • Installation details including antenna layout, initial configuration report, interconnection diagrams, provision of the pilot plug and power supply arrangements
  • Checking the correct programming of the ships static information
  • The ability of the AIS to receive ships dynamic information from the appropriate sensors
  • The ability to correctly input the ships voyage related data
  • A performance test of the equipment including radio frequency measurements
  • An on-air test that the unit is working correctly using for example an appropriate Vessel Traffic Service station or a suitable test equipment

When can the test be carried out?

Click here for the IMO AIS webpage>

What information is contained on an AIS test report?

  • Ship information
    • Name of ship/call sign
    • MMSI number
    • Port of registry
    • IMO Number
    • Gross tonnage
    • Date keel laid
  • Installation details
    • AIS transponder type
    • Type approval certificate
    • Initial installation configuration report on board?
    • Drawings provided?
    • Main source of electrical power
    • Emergency source of electrical power
    • Capacity to be verified if the AIS is connected to a battery
    • Pilot plug near pilots operating position?
    • 120 V AC provided near pilot plug? (Panama and St. Lawrence requirement)
  • AIS programming-Static information
    • MMSI number
    • IMO number
    • Radio call sign
    • Name of ship
    • Type of ship
    • Ship length and beam
    • Location of GPS antenna
  • AIS programming-Dynamic information
    • Ships position with accuracy and integrity status (Source: GNSS)
    • Time in UTC
    • Course over ground
    • Speed over ground
    • Heading
    • Navigational status
    • Rate of turn, where available
    • Angle of heel, pitch and roll, where available
  • AIS programming- voyage related information
    • Ships draught
    • Type of cargo
    • Destination and ETA (at masters discretion)
    • Route plan (optional)
    • Short safety-related messages
  • Performance test using measuring instrument
    • Frequency measurements
    • Transmitting output
    • Polling information
    • Read data from AIS
    • Send data to AIS
    • Check AIS response to virtual vessels
  •  On air performance test
    • Check reception performance
    • Confirm reception of own signal from other ship/VTS
    • Polling by VTS/shore installation
  • Electromagnetic interference from AIS observed to other installations?

Ref: IMO MSC.1/Circ.1252 Guidelines on the annual testing of AIS

Note: On-air test of transmission and reception includes: – able to detect a vessel at or over 10 Nautical Mile range; – contacting a vessel, VTS or MRCC at or over 10 Nm and confirming own ship’s detection on their AIS.

Useful AIS links


COLREG Part F-some new Rules

Navsregs>COLREGS>Part F

Collision Regulations Rules 39, 40 and 41

Verification of Compliance


A quick pause before commencing the next topic on ship certification to have a look at a change in the Collision Regulations introduced in January 2016.  This change introduced a complete new section to the rules; section F.  Section F is concerned with flag state implementation of the Convention, and will have no direct impact on vessels at sea.

Power Driven Vessel Lights

COLREG Blog update- Since this post was published a new COLREG series of posts has started,  exploring the regulations that surround Navigation lights. 

Click here to jump to the start of those posts> 



Rule 39 Definitions

(a) Audit means a systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining audit evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which audit criteria are fulfilled.

(b) Audit Scheme means the IMO Member State Audit Scheme established by the Organization and taking into account the guidelines developed by the Organization.

(c) Code for Implementation means the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code) adopted by the Organization by resolution A.1070(28). (d) Audit Standard means the Code for Implementation.

Rule 40 Application

Contracting Parties shall use the provisions of the Code for Implementation in the execution of their obligations and responsibilities contained in the present Convention.

Rule 41 Verification of compliance

(a) Every Contracting Party shall be subject to periodic audits by the Organization in accordance with the audit standard to verify compliance with and implementation of the present Convention.

(b) The Secretary-General of the Organization shall have responsibility for administering the Audit Scheme, based on the guidelines developed by the Organization.

(c) Every Contracting Party shall have responsibility for facilitating the conduct of the audit and implementation of a programme of actions to address the findings, based on the guidelines developed by the Organization.

(d) Audit of all Contracting Parties shall be:

(i) based on an overall schedule developed by the Secretary-General of the Organization, taking into account the guidelines developed by the Organization; and

(ii) conducted at periodic intervals, taking into account the guidelines developed by the Organization.


The Kindle Book Shelf of COLREG Books

For some Really Handy Revision Guides to the Collsion Regulations, click here>







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International Ballast Water Management Certificate- A handy guide

Controlling the spread of invasive species

Enters into force on 8 September 2017


“The spread of invasive species is now recognized as one of the greatest threats to the ecological and the economic well being of the planet.” IMO website

Bringing up the rear of this section on ship certification posts is the newest of the the documents. It has been a long time in development and ratification, but at last is now entering force in September of 2017.

Why is an International Ballast Water Management Certificate required?

It will be required under the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships‘ Ballast Water and Sediments.

Two suggested links:

Two definitions from the Convention:

Ballast Water “ means water with its suspended matter taken on board a ship to control trim, list, draught, stability or stresses of the ship.

Harmful Aquatic Organisms and Pathogens “ means aquatic organisms or pathogens which,  if introduced into the sea including estuaries, or into fresh water courses, may create hazards to the environment, human health, property or resources, impair biological diversity or interfere with other legitimate uses of such areas.

Which ships require the certificate

Ships of 400 gross tonnage and above.

What information is contained on an International Ballast Water Management Certificate?

  • Particulars of ship
    • Name of ship
    • Distinctive number or letters
    • Port of registry
    • Gross Tonnage
    • IMO number
    • Date of Construction
  • Ballast information
    • Ballast Water Capacity (in cubic metres)
    • Details of Ballast Water Management Method(s) Used
    • Method of Ballast Water Management used
    • Date installed (if applicable)
    • Name of manufacturer (if applicable)
    • The principal Ballast Water Management method(s) employed on this ship is/are:
      • In accordance with regulation D-1
      • In accordance with regulation D-2
      • The ship is subject to regulation D-4
  • Validity
  • Certificate is validity
  • Survey dates
  • Issued

What Surveys are required?

Reference Regulation E-1 Surveys

Ships of 400 gross tonnage and above to which this Convention applies, excluding floating platforms, FSUs and FPSOs:

An initial survey before the ship is put in service or before the Certificate is issued for the first time.

An intermediate survey within three months before or after the second Anniversary date or within three months before or after the third Anniversary date of the Certificate

An annual survey within three months before or after each Anniversary date

An additional survey either general or partial,after a change, replacement, or significant repair of the structure, equipment, systems, fittings, arrangements and material necessary to achieve full compliance with this Convention

What inspections may be carried out?

  • In a port or offshore terminal of another inspections to determine whether the ship is in compliance with this Convention. This inspection will normally be limited to:
  • Verifying that there is onboard a valid Certificate
  • Inspection of the Ballast Water record book
  • A sampling of the ship‘s Ballast Water. However, the time required to analyse the samples shall not be used as a basis for unduly delaying the operation, movement or departure of the ship.

What ballast water standards must be met?

After 8th September ships must comply with one of the following. D1 can only be used up to the renewal of the IOPP certificate. See IMO  Resolution  A1.088(28) for more information.

Regulation D-1 Ballast Water Exchange Standard
This requires Ballast Water exchange  with an efficiency of at least 95 percent volumetric exchange of Ballast Water. For ships exchanging Ballast Water by the pumping-through method, pumping through three times the volume of each Ballast Water tank shall be considered to meet the standard

Regulation D-2 Ballast Water Performance Standard

This sets standards according to the number of  viable organisms per cubic metre.  The standard also states what microbes must be included in the test as indicators.


Regulation D-4 fives a five year exemption to Prototype Ballast Water Treatment Technologies.

What documents must be carried with the certificate?


Each ship shall have on board and implement a Ballast Water Management plan. Such a plan shall be approved by the Administration

Each ship shall have on board a Ballast Water record book that may be an electronic record system, or that may be integrated into another record book or system.


Some useful Ballast water links

Click here for information on the Really Handy Books revision aids for mariners>



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The International Anti-fouling certificate -A handy guide

Navsregs>Ship Certification>International Anti-Fouling Certificate

Removing Organotin from the seas


This exploration of ship certification is on its final stages of pollution related documentation. The last two certificates do not get their power from MARPOL however, but instead from two stand alone conventions. The first of these is aimed at reducing the damage caused by anti-fouling paint.

Why is the The International Anti-fouling certificate required?

It is required by The International Convention of the control of anti-fouling systems on ships, 2001.

Click here for the IMO page on the anti-fouling convention>

“Anti-fouling system means a coating, paint, surface treatment, surface, or device that is used on a ship to control or prevent attachment of unwanted organisms.”

What does that convention require?

That ships shall not apply or re-apply Organotin compounds which act as biocides and that that ships either:

  • Shall not bear such compounds on their hulls or external parts or surfaces; or
  • Shall bear a coating that forms a barrier to such compounds leaching from the underlying non-compliant anti-fouling systems

See table in antifoultableMGN 398 for implementation dates.

What ships are requires to carry the certificate?

Ships of 400 GT or above

Ships of less than 400 GT but of 24 metres or more in length must carry a Declaration and appropriate documentation such  a paint receipt or contractor’s invoice.


What does it certify?

That the ship has been surveyed in accordance with regulation 1 of Annex 4 to the International Convention of the control of anti-fouling systems on ships.

The survey shows that the anti-fouling system on the ship complies with the applicable requirements of Annex 1 to the Convention.

The certificate will contain a statement that an anti-fouling system controlled under Annex 1 has not been applied during or after construction of this ship, or if the ship had a controlled anti fouling system prior to the introduction of the convention the certificate will state:

  • When an anti-fouling system controlled under Annex 1 has been removed,or
  • When an anti-fouling system controlled under Annex 1 has covered with a sealer coat, or
  • When anti-fouling system controlled under Annex 1 must be removed or covered with a sealer coat prior to date

What other information is shown on the Certificate?

Particulars of ship

  • Name of ship
  • Distinctive number or letters
  • Port of registry
  • Gross tonnage
  • IMO number

What are the survey requirements?

An Initial Survey followed by subsequent survey when the anti-fouling system is changed or replaced. There is no regular survey requirement.

What document should accompany the International Anti-fouling certificate?

A Record of Anti-fouling Systems.

Record of Anti-fouling systems

This Record shall be permanently attached to the International Anti-Fouling System Certificate.

What information is shown on the record?

  • Particulars of ship
    • Name of ship
    • Distinctive number or letters
    • IMO number
  • Details of anti-fouling system(s) applied
    • Type(s) of anti-fouling system(s) used
    • Date(s) of application of anti-fouling system(s)
    • Name(s) of company(ies) and facility(ies)/location(s) where applied
    • Name(s) of anti-fouling system manufacturer(s)
    • Name(s) and colour(s) of anti-fouling system(s)
    • Active ingredient(s) and their Chemical Abstract Services Registry Number(s) (CAS number(s))
    • Type(s) of sealer coat, if applicable
    • Name(s) and colour(s) of sealer coat applied, if applicable
    • Date of application of sealer coat

Note:  A CAS Registry Number,  is a unique numerical identifier assigned by Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) to every chemical substance described in the open scientific literature. Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) is a division of the American Chemical Society. Click here for their website>

Deceleration on anti-fouling system

This is required to be carried by Ships of less than 400 GT but of 24 metres or more in length. Such a vessel must also carry appropriate documentation such  a paint receipt or contractor’s invoice.

Contents of a deceleration

  • Name of ship
  • Distinctive number or letters
  • Port of registry
  • Length
  • Gross tonnage
  • IMO number (if applicable)

A statement that: I declare that the anti-fouling system used on this ship complies with Annex 1 of the Convention.

Useful links on anti-fouling

UK MGN 398 Merchant shipping anti-fouling system regulations 2009

UK guidance for Surveyors

Some notes on anti-fouling paint

Organotin compounds or stannanes are chemical compounds based on tin with hydrocarbon substituents. Depending on the organic groups, they can be powerful bactericides and fungicides.

Studies have shown that these compounds persist in the water, harming the environment and possibly entering the food chain.  Organotin tributylin (TBT), which has been proven to cause deformations in oysters and sex changes in whelks.

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Just Published-Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between MAIB, HSE and MCA

A very brief pause between the notes on pollution related certification to pass on a handy link to a handy document for UK flagged vessels.

The UK has just published a Memorandum of Understanding  between the Health and Safety Executive, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch for health and safety enforcement activities and accident investigation at the water margin and offshore.

Click here to view on the GOV UK website>

Within this document is a handy table showing the demarcation between the three UK mougovernment agencies.